Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities: The Future of Urban Development in Qatar

One of the most important aspects of sustainable design is its ability to adopt a multilayered understanding of the needs of communities, sites and the environment to propose integrated solutions that not only address short and long term environmental and economic benefits but could provide opportunities to enhance social and cultural aspects of the development. Over the past few years, this has extended beyond the scale of buildings well into the public realm to include sustainable urban development strategies, infrastructure design and smart city solutions.

The reasons for creating more sustainable design solutions to minimize the environmental impact of cities are no longer questionable. The main issues facing designers and developers now are how to find the most suitable, smart city solutions that balance client needs, project budgets and the environmental design challenges and opportunities that arise from a project’s context. This is why creating sustainable urban environments will be a continuous endeavor that the Middle East will be experiencing over the coming years.

Fueled by an economic boom that adds pressure on available resources, Qatar, like other countries in the region, is at a crossroads to rethink its approach to urban planning and design to create more sustainable built environments on a macro level and redefine the impact of its future cities. Many steps have already been taken as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to realize the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, where the country is witnessing a number of large-scale development projects set to the highest local and international sustainability standards. Over the coming years, it is crucial to continue down this path by providing the necessary tools to ensure that targets are met. The integrated efforts of all stakeholders will not only ensure that goals are realized but set on a continuous path of sustainable development.

–  by Rashed Al Nasa’a, Senior Sustainability Consultant, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, GSAS CGP, PQP, Arab Engineering Bureau

QGBC’S Vision For Creating A Smart And Healthy City

Qatar is currently witnessing unprecedented urban development, from the establishment of Lusail City and the development of downtown Doha, to the inception of numerous infrastructure projects, the need to incorporate smart technologies in city planning in an effort to move towards establishing a healthy city is becoming vital.

Retrofitting Doha to become a truly smart city requires the development of a comprehensive long-term strategy with active participation from all the relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors. In Doha’s context, a smart city will fully support healthy living in all aspects including water and energy conservation, healthy air quality, increased community interaction and active lifestyle. The use of state-of-the-art technologies, such as smart water management system, intelligent and automated air, noise and waste management systems, and real-time communication mechanisms, will eventually help Doha move closer to realizing its vision of a smart and healthy city.

In an effort to conceptualize the development of a smart and healthy city amidst the ongoing infrastructural development, experts at Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), last year devised a comprehensive guide ‘Doha: A Rough Guide to Healthy Cities’.  The Guide, http://qatargbc.org/interest-groups/green-infrastructure, tackles the issue of the environmental health of urban areas which is becoming increasingly important to the world’s population as a majority of people are shifting towards inner cities.

Highlighting the benefits of planning and designing a healthy city, the non-technical infographic provides design and planning professionals, senior school students and advocates of sustainable development, with interesting guidelines on how to create a healthy city.

The key for QGBC and relevant stakeholders is to foster education around this subject to help create behavioural change in the process. This infographic is a starting point for such practices, which need to be further highlighted through national dialogues, the likes of Arab Future Cities Summit, the Qatar Green Building Conference, and the Qatar Sustainability Week.  Such efforts will foster the development of green infrastructure as a national resource capable of delivering a wide range of environmental, economic and social benefits.

by Meshal Al Shamari, Director – QGBC

Enhancing building efficiency for a greener UAE

By Saeed Al Abbar

With the UAE’s skyline dominated by skyscrapers, and Dubai alone being home to over 3,000 high-rise buildings,1  it is important that all stakeholders within the construction industry leverage the opportunities available for installing renewable energy systems in high-rises.

The roofs of high-rise buildings are often occupied with installations such as cooling towers, chillers and other equipment, which can limit the space available for installing renewable energy systems.

However, with an increasing number of high-rises in the region, it is important that initiatives supporting sustainable built environments are fully considered and implemented.

Emirates Green Building Council, an independent forum promoting sustainability, recently hosted a workshop to discuss the challenges and potential solutions in installing renewable energy technologies in high-rises.

Experts identified awareness, site issues, codes and financial schemes as key points to be addressed to promote the use of renewable energy systems. They observed that these systems must also be outcome-based to ensure reduction in energy consumption.

To bring a tangible shift, a fundamental transformation of the construction sector is needed by streamlining fragmented responsibilities of different stakeholders and developing business models that attract third-party financing.

Stakeholders must also look at implementing highly advanced yet cost-effective façade concepts, based on multifunctional components and/or new combinations of existing building envelope technologies.

An integrated design and close collaboration among a multidisciplinary team will further drive the implementation of renewable energy systems in high-rises.

With the focus on high-rise buildings continuing to grow, in direct response to meet the urban growth requirements, credible measures by developers to incorporate green building practices will contribute to the green vision of the nation and help secure the environment for our future generations.

Saeed Al Abbar is the Chairman of Emirates Green Building Council.

1 State of energy report

Arab Future Cities Summit, Middle East’s Largest Smart Cities Event begins in Doha on Monday

afcs2014

Presentation in progress during Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2014

April 8, 2015, Doha, Qatar: The 4th Annual Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2015 will take place early next week in Doha, Qatar on April 13 and 14, 2015. Held at the Ritz-Carlton, Doha, the two-day summit will be attended by over 350 senior executives, government officials, developers, urban planners, investors, academics, and cutting-edge technologists from across the GCC to discuss the progress, efficient management of resources, future development and ways of making future cities work better in the Middle East. The summit is organized by global conference producers, Expotrade.

The summit will be inaugurated by Eng. Abdulla Abdulaziz T. Al Subaie, Managing Director, Qatar Rail.

The two-day by-invitation-only summit will feature presentations, panel discussions and networking sessions by renowned experts from across the world. With sustainable urban development as the core theme, the summit will feature topics ranging from smarter cities enabled through IoT, energy efficiency and government initiatives, to sustainable infrastructure, ICT innovation and telecommunications. Sessions focusing on Qatar and the special initiatives taken up by Qatari government bodies such as ICT Qatar and Qatar Rail are among the highlights of the event.

With its growing importance in the region and supported by its leadership and the goals of the National Vision 2030, Qatar is the ideal location to hold a summit that seeks to discuss the latest innovation and technology in smart city development worldwide.

Speakers and panelists at the summit include Eng. Hamad Ibrahim Al Bishri, Deputy CEO, Qatar Rail Company; Dr. Rainer Schnepfleitner, Department Manager Regulation and Competition Affairs, Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA); Ashraf Ali Ismael, National Information Assurance Manager, Cyber Security Division, (QCERT) ICT Qatar; Dr. Fethi Filali, Head of Technology Development & Applied Research, Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC); Cyril Anand, Assistant Director, Business Development Support, Ooredoo Qatar; Mohamed Sleiman, General Manager, Alfardan Properties; Prof. Ali A. Alraouf, Prof. of Architecture and Urbanism, Head of CB, Training, Research and Development–QNMP Doha, Qatar; Ahmad Kawakbi, ICT & Stakeholder Manager, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy – FIFA World Cup Qatar; Mohannad Khader, Vice President – Commercial, Qatar Cool; Safder Nazir, Regional Vice President Smart Cities & IoT, Huawei and many more.

The event is sponsored by industry giants such as Huawei, Accenture, Ooredoo, Cisco, Intel, Alfardan Properties, Schneider Electric, Microsoft, EMC, Qatar Cool, B+B SmartWorx, Proteco LLC (Al Nasr Holding), Esri and many more. Innovation is brought into focus at the Future Cities Lounge, which will see over 30 exhibitors showcasing innovative solutions for building smart cities.

Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, organizers of the conference, said, “The Arab Future Cities Summit seeks to promote sustainable urban development as its main focus. Qatar’s important position in the GCC and its National Vision 2030, coupled with Doha’s emergence as a major city only serve to underline the importance of such a platform which will showcase the latest solutions, technology and innovation in global smart city development. Also of special interest is the summit’s focus on Qatar’s initiatives and progress in this move towards sustainable development. We are very happy to present this platform for knowledge-sharing and networking to our speakers, delegates and sponsors.”

For event details, visit www.arabfuturecities.com

About Expotrade  

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit www.expotradeglobal.com

Gold Sponsor Microsoft to showcase their CityNext approach to Doha at the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar

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Doha, Qatar, March 29, 2015 – The 4th Annual Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar welcomes on board Microsoft as Gold Sponsor of the event, to be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Doha, Qatar, on 13-14 April, 2015.

Smart city development across the world is becoming more the norm than the exception. Governments worldwide are including smart initiatives in their development plans, with the focus set firmly on sustainability. At the same time, they do not lose sight of the fact that an improved way of life and better citizen services are to be the end result of all efforts in this regard. Among the topics discussed at the Arab Future Cities Summit will be citizen empowerment in the context of smart cities. This ties in perfectly with Microsoft’s corporate commitment to citizenship in terms of serving the needs of communities, and their mission to help people and businesses realize their full potential. The summit, therefore, is the ideal platform for Microsoft to showcase their CityNext Solution, that brings their technology and partner solutions together to meet the needs of local and regional governments across today’s four major technology trends—big data, cloud, mobile, and social—in all four public sector industries (education, government, health, and public safety and national security). Ali Nimer, Regional Government Solutions Director, Microsoft Gulf will be speaking at the summit on ‘Doha Next: Enabling Real Impact for Better Tomorrow.’

A smart city can be termed intelligent only when it is citizen-focused. A citizen- focused city involves harnessing the ideas, energy and expertise of a city’s people as they create a healthier, safer and sustainable place to live. The Microsoft CityNext approach to innovation puts people first, empowering governments, businesses and citizens to use collaborative technology to shape the future of their cities. Doha, with its growing prominence as a major Gulf city, is the ideal location to implement such an approach. Such an approach for the new and emerging Doha involves empowering leaders to do newer things using fewer resources by enabling them to leverage existing investments and incorporate new innovations at their own pace, thereby creating a workable innovation model.

The importance of helping cities in the region become more evolved and using a platform such as the Arab Future Cities Summit to bring forward these ideas is emphasized by Ali Nimer, Regional Government Solutions Director, Microsoft Gulf, who will be speaking at the summit. He says, “We are fully committed to supporting governments in this region with their transition from resource-based to a knowledge-based economy. Our participation in the Arab Future Cities Summit last year facilitated valuable connections with key stakeholders from the Public and Commercial Sectors, and provided us with the proper platform to discuss Microsoft’s CityNext Initiative which offers cutting-edge technologies as well as innovative and holistic solutions that can make this transition happen. This year, we hope to take the conversation a step further by sharing success stories implemented by Microsoft and its valued partners which enabled the development and creation of Smart Cities of the future in various parts of the world.”

Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, organizers of the conference, welcomed the partnership, saying, “Microsoft, with its commitment towards fostering healthier and more vibrant communities, is an ideal partner for the Arab Future Cities Summit, which seeks to bring forth the most innovative advancements in smart city technology and solutions globally. It gives us great pleasure to offer the best platform to Microsoft to showcase their solutions. We look forward to a meaningful relationship with them.”

For more details on the summit, visit www.arabfuturecities.com

Microsoft

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:’MSFT’) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft Qatar was founded in 2003 as part of the Dubai-based Microsoft Gulf. There are approximately 50 employees at Microsoft Qatar who serve the Qatar market’s technological needs with productivity solutions, cloud offerings, devices, services and much more spanning across all verticals and segments.

For more information, please visit www.microsoft.com

About Expotrade

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit www.expotradeglobal.com

Arab Future Cities Summit proudly announces Huawei as Diamond Sponsor

Huawei

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 10, 2015 – Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar welcomes Huawei as the Diamond Sponsor at the 4th annual edition of the event, to be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Doha, Qatar, on April 13-14, 2015. The summit is produced by global conference organizers, Expotrade. The 2015 edition will showcase city development best practice strategies and innovative solutions that will integrate citizens, systems and services. There will be opportunities for networking along with knowledge sharing on the various sustainable technologies promoting smart city development. Huawei’s return to the summit’s fold, this time as the Diamond Sponsor, reflects its core motto of striving to build a better connected world and commitment to sustainable socio-economic development.

One of the top drivers in smart city development is improvement in city infrastructure. In today’s technologically advanced society, apart from the traditional power, energy, water, utilities and transportation systems, what comes to the forefront is connectivity. The critical importance of connectivity in terms of telecommunications, networks and broadband services stems not just from the perspective of technical advancement, but also from the prime need to provide the best in terms of services to citizens. This, in turn, links back to the need for a smart city to evolve into an intelligent, people-focused city. Challenges can span the range from growing populations and increased expectations to balancing modern systems with outdated existing infrastructure. And of course, at the heart of it all, lies sustainability. These challenges and the ways to tackle them will be discussed at the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2015, to be held on April 13-14, 2015.

For cities embarking on a smart city initiative, improving the quality of life of their citizens can be achieved through improvement initiatives which can be measured only by enabling connectivity across functions. The impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on enabling future cities to become smarter is emphasized by Safder Nazir, Regional Vice President, Smart Cities & IoT, Huawei, who will be speaking at the summit on ‘Smarter Cities enabled through IoT’.

As a past participant, he feels, “Huawei participated in the 2014 event and its impact was above our expectations, hence our decision to participate in this year’s event. We expect to see an exceptional turnout of visionaries from government, industry and thought leaders in the domain or urban innovation and future city development. At Huawei we see it as fundamentally important to take a long term view whilst also keeping focused on actionable steps towards achieving that vision in collaboration with our customers and partners.”

Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, organizers of the conference, welcomed the partnership, saying, “Huawei’s dedication towards bridging the digital divide, albeit in a harmonious, sustainable manner finds the right expression at an event such as the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar, an ideal platform for building smart cities of the future in the Middle East. We are proud to partner with Huawei again and look forward to an even more successful partnership with them.”

For more details on the summit, visit www.arabfuturecities.com

Huawei

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end advantages in telecom networks, devices and cloud computing. We are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services. Our products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world’s population.

For more information, please visit www.huawei.com

About Expotrade

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit www.expotradeglobal.com

Schneider Electric partners with Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2015

Schneider Electric

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 28, 2015 – Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar welcomes Schneider Electric as a Gold Sponsor at the 2015 edition of the event, to be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Doha, Qatar, on April 13-14, 2015. The 4th edition of the annual event will discuss the progress, efficient management of resources, future developments and ways of making future cities work better in the Middle East. This association is indicative of Schneider Electric’s continual efforts and consistent commitment towards sustainable development.

Zeroing in on a list of future cities in the world is not an easy feat. Future cities do not develop overnight – they are shaped brick by brick, modeled according to a well-defined strategy. It is these building blocks – the infrastructure, systems, services, technology and most of all, the citizens – that form the cornerstones of any successful smart city of the future. Fueling these building blocks is the underlying principle of sustainability and strategic urban planning. And understanding these building blocks and principles that make a smart city tick, form the focus of the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2015, to be held on April 13-14, 2015.

The importance of sustainable economic development is emphasized by Ghassan Bhargouth, Country President – Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, Schneider Electric, who will be speaking at the event on Efficient, Livable, Sustainable Smart Cities. He feels, “With the world battling the energy challenge, Middle East cities must evolve to revitalize their economies, environment and resources while giving its people high quality of life through smarter strategies and solutions. Proper urban planning, strategic collaborations between global and local stakeholders and investments in science and technology will help each component of our city to be healthier and thrive in the long-term. Needless to mention, it will boost commercial investments.

The fourth edition of the Arab Future Cities Summit, Qatar is the ideal platform to network and exchange ideas with leading industry and government leaders- including tried and tested best practices implemented to embed our cities with the pulse of dynamic technology. As our governments move toward innovation and knowledge-based economies, let us make best use of this summit to transform our smart city visions into reality.”

Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, organizers of the conference, welcomed the association, saying, “Schneider Electric’s commitment towards ensuring a greener, sustainable future, ties in perfectly to the theme of the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar, an ideal platform for knowledge sharing on building smart cities of the future in the Middle East. It gives us great pleasure to announce this partnership and we look forward to a lasting relationship with Schneider Electric.”

For more details on the summit, visit www.arabfuturecities.com

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructure, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centres & Networks and in Residential.

In the Gulf region and especially in Qatar, Schneider Electric has been present for several years now, working closely with the government entities as well as private enterprises to provide energy management solutions across verticals. The Qatar office is fully equipped with sales, technical, services and project managers headed by a dedicated Country President to execute large scale projects on a turnkey basis. The Qatar team also brings the global expertise of Schneider Electric in providing innovative and state of the art solutions to its end users and other stakeholders.

For more information, please visit www.schneider-electric.com

Contact information

Rukmini Sengupta Roy
Marketing and Communications Manager
Expotrade Middle East FZ-LLC
1002 Al Thuraya Tower 2
PO Box 500686 Dubai Media City
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +9714-4542135
Fax: +9714-4542136